Note from Tara M: Hey guys! I got this clipping about Madly About Me Day way back when after I published my first (!) post, My Self Happiness Manifesto. I thought it was a great article, so I’m posting it here. Enjoy!
One woman’s solution to the crisis of the modern day woman
An interview with Christine Arylo, self-love expert. Written by Sara Batterson.
Feed the kids. Get a raise. Lose the weight. Clean the house. Wear the lingerie. Whew! It is tiring being a woman these days. We have more opportunities, self-confidence and independence than any generation of women before, yet something isn’t working. Why is it so exhausting? How is it that the last 30 years of unparalleled equality has also had the unintended impact of liberating women into a new jail cell?
The answer is pretty straightforward according to Christine Arylo, recovering achievement junkie and doing addict turned inspirational catalyst, author, coach and speaker…we are currently experiencing a “crisis of self-love.”
“Women today face challenges and pressures like no other generation,” she says. “The 21st century woman has more opportunities, self-confidence and independence than any generation of women before, yet something isn’t working. While this woman knows she can do anything, she feels a tremendous pressure to do, be and have everything.”
A recent study by Time Magazine states that 40% of women are the major breadwinners in their families, and 55% report that they still take care of most of the responsibilities at home. Add to that fact that 68% of women see a conflict between working and raising a family, and you can understand why so many women are exhausted, overwhelmed and no happier than their mothers and grandmothers were in the 1970s.
While more self-esteem programs are taught to girls all over this country, one in three women will be in an abusive relationship before she is 20, 80% will return. One in five women will struggle with some type of an eating disorder. Almost 50% of women will go through a divorce.
“The state of being a woman in today’s world is at a point of crisis, one in which women find themselves abundant in self-confidence, but lacking in a deep and unwavering sense of self-love, void of the societal systems to support the demands she faces every day, and a missing the camaraderie and unconditional support of other women,” Arylo says. “This lifestyle is unsustainable. We all feel it. We all know it. The time is now to bring the generations of wisdom together to do something about it.”
Arylo is on a mission to tear down the walls of misconception about self-love and reclaim its real definition.
“If you actually look up the definition of self-love on dictionary.com it say’s ‘vanity, conceit, and narcissism.’ It’s crazy! We wouldn’t tell our kids, ‘Hey you, don’t take care of yourself, don’t love yourself, don’t make your happiness a priority.’ But we tell ourselves that all the time,” she says.
While writing her book Choosing Me Before We, Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love Arylo decided that what women needed was a self-love movement, something that could raise the awareness of self-love, making it a tangible and attainable reality for all women and girls. And so in 2009, she founded Madly in Love with ME™, the international movement of self-love.
About Madly in Love with ME™
Madly in Love with ME launches every year on the day before Valentine’s Day. On February 13th Arylo asks every woman and girl to make a promise of self-love to herself for the year, and to recommit to a life-long self-love promise to know and honor what her heart and soul desire, never settling for less.
“Without self-love, we end up in relationships and lives that don’t support or respect us, that take more than they give and that reﬂect our own lack of deep unconditional love for the woman we are right now, today.” she says.
“Get clear about the areas that you do love about yourself and the areas that you don’t,” Arylo says. “Put energy into both and make it a practice.”
Arylo encourages women to start with a 40-day self-love practice in any area of her life needing more self-love – having better relationships, taking care of yourself first, treating your body like a temple, expressing yourself fully. “The yogis, metaphysicians and brain scientists agree,” explains Arylo, “that if you can do anything for 40 days you can alter patterns and beliefs that have the power to change your life.”
Arylo gives an example of a 40-day self–love practice focused on relationships.
“Ask yourself, ‘Does every relationship in my life honor and respect me?’ If the answer is no, you owe it to yourself to straighten out those relationships, or let go of the ones you can’t improve. There is no reason to have a relationship in your life that doesn’t support you to be the best you or create the life you want to live. The only reason to have a relationship is because it helps you be a better person, or it helps you live your dreams.”
“Be honest with yourself. So many of us say our lives are ‘fine’ but when you truly look at our relationships – friendships, romantic relationships, relatives – that really isn’t the case. We often refuse to face the truth because we are afraid of what the truth will require us to do. For example, we aren’t really afraid to end a relationship, we are more afraid of what people will think. We are deathly afraid of being alone. And many people can’t handle feeling like a failure. But, self-love requires self honesty,” she says. “It’s not an option.”
“When it comes to self-love and relationships, I believe that every woman, no matter how successful or beautiful she is, desires to be deeply loved. And that love has to start with herself,” she says. “Learning how to both give and receive love, to both have strong boundaries and be vulnerable enough to freely love, is a practice, one that all women can benefit from. And one that you may need some help with.”
“One of the reasons I wrote Choosing ME before WE and started the Madly in Love with ME movement, is to give women a place to connect with other women and learn from each other. We all face the same struggles and challenges, the details just look different. But when we reach out for inspiration, support and wisdom we have the power to change our lives. It is said that it will be women that change this world. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t change anything.”
“Begin by asking yourself what you really want in life,” she says. “Then start taking the action steps to fall more and more madly in love…with you.”
About Christine Arylo
Christine Arylo is an inspirational catalyst, m.b.a, coach, teacher and speaker. Author of Choosing ME before WE, Arylo’s opinions and techniques have appeared on E! Entertainment, WGN, FOX, CBS and ABC TV as well as in radio stations, spas and business schools across the country.